It’s kinda hard not to be disappointed with all these declines.

Since my unemployment runs out Dec 29, this is becoming VERY critical. And
I’m even finding it difficult to get a chance for a much-lower salary, since they consider me ‘over-qualified’. I’m worried now that I won’t even be able to get a minimum-wage job somewhere, just to get SOME money coming in.
Is there anyone in this group who is in HR or consulting who can give me some advice?

We ventured out yesterday during the day

—something we generally never do this close to Christmas because of the crowds. But there were a few things we needed and we thought if we went to this one center not far from us (20 miles) we’d be fine. Nope!
We were playing divide and conquer. Where each of us would hit a different store and meet back at the truck to get the errands done quickly (we each have a key to the truck). Dh let me out at Dollar Tree, ds out at Michaels and then he went to park the truck and then he was going to go into Best Buy. He had no sooner neatly parked the truck between the lines when a Michael’s employee rushing to get to work, pulled into him! She clipped the driver’s side dually hip and of course the fiber glass body shattered in the cold air.
She was very apologetic, offered her insurance info immediately and kept saying over and over “OMG I hit Santa!” Since dh was completely parked, the motor shut off and she hit the rear of the truck there is no doubt who was at fault. I’ll turn our report to our insurance agent on Monday and she’s going to be really upset when she gets the estimate. When we had that same panel replaced due to a similar problem in 2006 it was over $2,000. Luckily she has, according to her insurance card, full coverage. It’s a pretty nasty looking hole. It shouldn’t cost us anything, but Murphy sure tried.

I worked at home instead of out in traffic

(shuddddder at the thought of Christmas shopping traffic).
Ds worked overtime.
I blogged a lot—in fact today’s post isn’t about the trip but about time budgeting and how I’m breaking my time budget down to manage it just like you do a financial budget. Thanks to all of you who have been clicking the ads the pennies are starting to slowly add up. I’ll get another post about the trip, probably tomorrow.
I cooked meals on the nights we were home. Worked hard on keeping on the time budget, pretty much finished my limited Christmas shopping and found my long black skirt—long story, let’s just say it’s been a nearly two month hunt and it turned up just about exactly where it should have been.
Worked on unpacking the camper—still not finished, but it is winterized.
This week I have the goals of finish getting the downstairs “Christmas ready”, wrapping gifts, paying off the two bills—thank you boss!—and getting the repairs started on the truck. We’ll see how that goes.

The owner stopped by our table to chat last night

and praised me, calling me by my name, for raising such a wonderful son, he also thanked me for letting both men work for him. How many bosses do that? Ds is impressed that he calls all the employees by their first name and greets them as he walks by them, often stopping to chat with them and inquire about life in general, not just work related things. He also knows a lot about each employee and the gift drawing last night showed that. There are several car enthusiasts, thus the car detailing kit, gun enthusiasts- a nice gun care kit was given, some of the women complain about always being cold in their cubicles- nice warm lap throws, many speak of spending time on their patios—one of those free standing fire places was given, a BUNCH of gift cards for different restaurants on and on. Almost everyone at the party won something last night and they were all items that someone in the company would use for their interest (there was some trading going on after the give away).
I know his wife once told me they went through DR’s class, I know they took a long vacation earlier this year. I wonder if they went to the leadership class then. He’s talked about paying for all his employees to attend the debt free class. I know this because he asked dh if he’d been through it and if he could teach it. Dh told him we had not, that we learned about it from this list and the book a good friend, Eldred, gave us. The boss is impressed we are sticking to it for certain. The class hasn’t been offered yet, but if it is we will definitely take it.

The employer and his wife are wonderful people.

They are good homeschooling, giving Christians. They are very down to earth and involved in the day to day work of the firm. In fact I got a kick out of watching the boss trying to learn to line dance at the company Christmas party last night (a formal affair that had to have cost the company a bunch at the Double Tree—it started out with everyone having a combination of champagne and cranberry juice—tastes a lot better than it sounds)
I don’t know if they listen to DR on a regular basis or not, but I do believe they are followers. I know he knows we follow it and at the party last night he was very proud to announce that the company was now entirely debt free—and he practically did a debt free shout! He even said while they carry a line of credit for business reasons it is now paid off in full every month. I know in this industry potential customers sometimes check to see what a line of credit for a company is before even talking to them. He was very proud of this and his wife was beaming and nodding in unison as he spoke.
We have truly been blessed by this company the last 2.5 years. First they hired dh and a few months later gave him a crisp $100 bill for his Christmas bonus—times were really tight for the company that had nearly folded the year before at that time. Then a small pay raise that spring. This last year as time and money improved for the company he gave dh a $3 an hour raise—unheard of in most engineering firms. Then he hired ds, breaking his own rule about not hiring members of the same family because to quote him “I want a Gary clone” and he has told us more than once he feels he got an excellent employee in Sean. The company picnic in September was a luau.
Both men have received numerous gift cards in addition to overtime pay when they’ve worked extra overtime to help get a rush job out. He paid for AU and part of our vacation fuel. Follow that up with those wonderful bonuses and the big expensive party last night where they gave away some really nice door prizes (including 2-$100 gift cards, 1 $200 gift card and a $500 gift card—all visa) Dh won a car detailing kit and I got a $25 gift card to TGIF

Our company is

a small family owned brick and mortar store and we give bonuses each year at Christmas. If at all possible we give one around the end of May/early June as well. If we must cut out one bonus, it is the one in May. The one for Christmas is given early enough in the month that our employees can use it for Christmas if they need to.
What is funny is that we have someone of a certain ‘faith’ that does not celebrate Christmas (non-Jew) but she accepts the Christmas bonus anyway. Won’t come to the Christmas party (paid for by our company) or take part in any gift exchanges though.

Okay it doesn’t exactly fit the tune, but that’s what I’ve been wanting to do for months.

I even mentioned it once before on the list. Well I must have been a very good girl somewhere along the line because yesterday ds called and said “Has Dad called you yet?”

I cringed heavily when he said that because that is exactly what he said back in February of 2009 (just after we had got back from the last trip to Las Vegas for AU). But his voice was different this time, so I timidly said “noooo, why?”

He replied he should let Dad call me but he was so excited he had to tell someone. The company owner had been in the office earlier in the day and had handed out Christmas cards to everyone one at a time stopping a their desks to visit with them. He wished each one Merry Christmas and said “this is to thank you for giving us such a good year”.
Each card contained a check for $2,000 (less taxes of course)!!!!!! Ds was just beside himself. He’s never had a Christmas bonus before (and he just turned 38) and he’s only been with the company 4 months. He was still pinging when he went to bed last night.
Dh never did call me, just came home and gave me the check! It is enough to replenish the emergency fund (report on the usage of it coming up in the blog later this month) AND to pay off two of our smallest bills!!!! When I told dh what I wanted to do with the money he said it would be the best Christmas gift he could think of for all of us. YES!!!! We put the check in the bank last night and Monday I’ll go personally to pay off Social Security (so I can get a receipt as PROOF we’ve paid them off) and then I’ll pay off Lowe’s!!!

Emotional problems are often the hardest to deal with

and I pray for strength and love for you and help for him. I grew up with a bipolar mother and I understand how scary that can be. We never knew what would trigger her melt downs. This is why I spent most of my young childhood being moved from aunt to aunt. But with the right help I am sure he will come out the other side so much better off for being in your loving household. Mom finally got the proper help later in life and the difference was so wonderful.
I’m glad things are slowly getting into a routine for all three of the newest children and you. Handling all of this along with bronchitis has had to have been hard. I know when I’ve had bronchitis in the past the worst part was at the end when I usually develop a dry non-productive cough that just racks my whole body. I use to take so many cough syrups and such to deal with it, but nothing seemed to work. UNTIL I stumbled across an old recipe for a thyme tea for just that type of cough. I now use it every time I even get a hint of bronchitis and it works every time. Because of the honey in it I would not recommend giving it to the younger children. But at least you could try it—I don’t think it would pass through to the baby if you are breast feeding—check with your doctor about you using honey.

like we’ve never seen…

My 2nd oldest son turned 8 in November and he had an emotional breakdown (mental breakdown maybe?).including hurting our other children (right down to the 2 yr old). He’s a wee bit better right now but we’re trying to get him into a Trauma Assessment Center to get him properly diagnoses (PTSD? Anxiety? Bipolar?) He still has breakdowns and negative behaviors but it isn’t quite as intense.
Outside of that we’re doing pretty good…We are helping our new little ones settle down, understand love and family and permanency and its a long journey. Our baby is doing well and a sweet little guy!

We’ve been fighting bronchitis for 2 months now (6 weeks for me) but I think I’m on the upswing with my 3rd or 4th antibiotic. I read on here but don’t check in often…I do try to keep my blog updated.

How come amway is still growing?

Hello everyone! I have a question to ask. One of the reasons why TTs are doomed-to-fail is because of market saturation. The retort that always get shot back at me is that Amway has been around for 50 years, does it look like it’s getting saturated?
I was just wondering, how come Amway is still growing, even after 50 years???